The Chicago Blackhawks are interested in signing goaltender Cam Ward, reports Jay Zawaski of 670 the Score. Zawaski also states that “an agreement may already be in the works/close” with the 34-year-old netminder.
Ward was 23-14-4 with a 2.73 goals-against average and .906 save percentage last season with the Carolina Hurricanes as he split time with Scott Darling. The 2002 first-round pick Ward has spent his entire NHL career with Carolina, including winning the Stanley Cup in 2006 as a rookie.
Over the last five seasons, Cam Ward has been the worst goalie in the NHL per @CorsicaHockey’s GSAA at minus-40.— Satchel Price (@SatchelPrice) June 27, 2018
Hurricanes’ system under Peters seemingly didn’t do goalies any favors but … not great.
Ward is the third goalie linked to Chicago this week. Carter Hutton (32) and Jonathan Bernier (29) are also reportedly candidates to be the Blackhawks’ next backup netminder. Both Bernier and the 32-year-old Hutton are expected to receive two-year contracts carrying a $3.1 million salary cap hit, according to Matt Cane of HockeyGraphs. Cane projects Ward to receive a one-year contract worth $2.85 million. Ward’s last deal carried a $3.3 million cap hit for two years.
Adding another goalie through free agency would force Chicago to trade at least one netminder in the Blackhawks’ system, reports Scott Powers of The Athletic. The Hawks currently have Crawford, Anton Forsberg, J-F Berube, Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen under contracts for the 2018-19 season.
The NHL free agency period begins July 1.